I attended my Toastmasters club meeting last night and we had seven visitors. Not that this is something special to write about, we get visitors all the time. Some are just tire-kickers while some join after attending one or more meetings. The reasons for joining are as different as the people who join, but there is a common thread among many that I have noticed as of late: many of them are coming from being laid off from their workplace/job.
The stories are all similar: after working X amount of years the company (or “they”) let me go. You can see and feel the hurt that some of them try to hide. I can feel their sense of being betrayed by a company they worked for. Not an experience that’s easy to forget, especially when they have obligations such as family, mortgage, school tuitions, etc.
One gentleman in particular spoke about how he worked for 33 years for Verizon, and was recently laid off. This in an effort for the company to weed out the senior employees who are costing the company more in wages and benefits. As the new trend towards hiring remote workers in Asia, more and more people will see themselves out of work as their jobs get outsourced around the world.
I could feel this man’s pain. He was stoic in his introductory short speech to our club audience, but it was obvious he also felt betrayed and taken for granted after many years of dedicated work.
He went on to add that Verizon now contracts the same people that they lay off as consultants. Since the senior personnel are too costly, it is cheaper to re-hire them as consultants because they aren’t entitled to medical benefits, pension, sick time, vacation time, and wage increases. So, in essence, they fire the people that they need, the people with experience. In this case, three decades worth of experience. So now he gets to train and assist someone on the other side of the world, who is now doing his job!
Things look dim don’t they. Well, maybe somewhere in here lies an opportunity?
This gentleman has three decades of experience in his field. It’s got to be worth something to someone. You can’t quickly train someone to do a job that took someone else three decades to master and know inside and out.
I see a business opportunity here. I would recommend that this particular gentleman set up a small home based business and network with other professionals in order to sell his experience to more than just his former employer. Heck, contact the competition and let them know you are available. All’s fair in love and war!
When presented with a challenge one needs to see where the positive may be. There always is a positive. All things being equal, that’s how the universe works. It has to, it has to be balanced.
I remember losing a job opportunity years ago. I was pretty upset about it because I really wanted the job. But some things are just beyond our control. But, I never wavered and continued to pursue what I wanted. It took a couple more years but I did land the job I wanted. It turns out that this all worked in my favor because I got work at a place that was better than the previous choice. Funny how things work out sometimes.
So, remember, things are really tough out there these days, but look for the silver lining. It’s out there if you look hard enough. There is an upside to all the downturns that life presents us. They are just challenges and He wants us to work through them. These challenges make us stronger and more confident. The experience strengthens our resolve to do better the next time because we have succeeded in the face of a challenge or adverse situation.
Opportunities are everywhere nowadays, be receptive. Look. Listen. Pay attention. Opportunities are everywhere.